PBA’s Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremonies Celebrate More Than 700 Graduates

West Palm Beach, Fla. (May 1, 2024) — On Saturday, May 4, Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) hosted two ceremonies to celebrate the remarkable achievements of its Class of 2024. Held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Rubin Arena, Greene Complex for Sports and Recreation at the university’s West Palm Beach campus, the ceremonies celebrated the accomplishments of more than 700 eligible graduates earning bachelor’s and graduate degrees. The day’s activities also featured an Open House from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to allow graduates to meet with fellow students, faculty, families and friends.

The 2024 Commencement Ceremonies were set in motion with performances from the PBA percussion and brass ensembles. PBA also welcomed Rev. Karl Martin, a distinguished leadership consultant and founder of Arable, as the keynote speaker. 

“We are incredibly proud of all our graduates,” shared PBA President Dr. Debra A. Schwinn. “This cohort has journeyed through the unique challenge of a pandemic, demonstrated resilience, and embodied the spirit of our institution—an institution built on God-Sized Dreams.”

The 2024 Class features over 460 graduates earning bachelor’s degrees across various disciplines. The Class of 2024 has graduates representing over 40 countries. The youngest graduate in this year’s class is 19 years old, earning a Bachelor of General Studies, while the most senior graduate, at 73, is earning a Master of Divinity.

In addition, PBA celebrates the accomplishments of 28 veteran graduates who, after serving our country, have returned to advance their education to serve in other capacities. In addition to recognizing Outstanding Graduates from each School (College of the Arts, Marshall E. Rinker, Sr. School of Business, School of Education and Behavioral Studies, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Catherine T. MacArthur School, School of Ministry, School of Nursing and the Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy), PBA also recognized the first graduates of some of its new programs, including graduate programs in computer science and health sciences and bachelor’s degrees in digital storytelling, gaming and interactive media design, and Christian community development.

Featured graduates: 

Ella Goens: Amid a consistent national trend of an eight percent annual teacher turnover rate, Ella Goens—who will celebrate her completion in the 10 a.m. ceremony—emerges as a passionate new educator ready to tackle the challenges of today’s educational landscape. Graduating from PBA with dual majors in dance and elementary education with a GPA of 4.0, Ella is set to teach third grade at Palm Beach Public Elementary this fall. Her innovative approach integrates dance into classroom learning to enhance student engagement and retention. 

Sarah Rossman: Another education student from Denver, Sarah learned about PBA from 10th Avenue North, a band formed in 2000 while its members attended the university. Drawn to PBA’s authentic community, Sarah (who will graduate at the 10 a.m. ceremony and is the ceremony’s student speaker) decided to pursue a degree in elementary education, far from her family and friends. Sarah has served in different teaching capacities for several years. She is currently a certified substitute teacher for Palm Beach County School District. This fall, she will teach abroad in Madrid. 

Aaron Miechiels: Aaron, who will cross the stage at the 2 p.m. ceremony, is a dedicated lacrosse athlete who has used his personal challenges as inspiration to become a healer for other athletes. Aaron, who sustained a back injury in high school and broke his jaw a year ago, will move on from the lacrosse fields at PBA to the classrooms of the University of Miami’s prestigious Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Lindsay Richardson: Lindsay is gifting her mother, Tammy Richardson, the ultimate Mother’s Day gift as she is the final of Tammy’s three daughters to graduate from PBA, just like their mother did in 1995. Lindsay will graduate at the 10 a.m. ceremony with a degree in communication, and she plans to open her photography business, Through A Linds Photography, full time. 


About Palm Beach Atlantic University 

Palm Beach Atlantic University, founded in 1968, is a private, Christian university offering 100 different programs and pathways, including undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and professional degrees. The university has a 19-acre campus in West Palm Beach and an Orlando campus, and the 78-acre Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Athletic Campus provides facilities for training and hosting intercollegiate sports. Sailfish athletes compete in 18 NCAA Division II and Sunshine State Conference varsity sports. PBA affirms the values that have built American society, including religious liberty and the free enterprise system. The university is dedicated to the integration of biblical principles to prepare students for learning, leadership, and service. Learn more at www.pba.edu.